2014 Comes to an End

2014 Comes to an End

2014 Comes to an end and it definitely had its highs and lows.  Time goes much too quickly these days.  I guess that’s all part of growing older.

2014 started off with a trip to NYC, picking up B&H and LensPen as sponsors for my workshops, a most wonderful trip to Israel for two weeks, giving several firesides about Israel, going on a 4-city speaking tour in Tennessee, a trip to Texas for Texas’ baptism and many other great things.  While I won’t dwell on the bad stuff, 2014 has had its tragedies too.

I also attended the PPSNYS School this summer and took a class from Richard Studevant.  It was a great class on doing composite images.  I haven’t practiced what I learned, but some of that isn’t due to any fault of my own.

During the year I’ve also been working with the Macedon-Palmyra-Walworth Chamber of Commerce on a re-branding project.  We want to make the chamber a viable business resource in the area and worked hard all year to do that.  Next week it will all come in to play when we have our annual meeting.

2015

2015 is just a few hours away.  In 2015 I want too…

  • get back to being able to walk unassisted
  • teach more workshops
  • build a passive solar heater for the upstairs bedrooms
  • get my Route 31 book ready for publication
  • take more photos

I want to make the best of 2015.

Snowing Today

Snowing Today

It is snowing today.  When I got up and looked outside it was just a dusting.  I took my shower and looked again, and it was about an inch.  The weather has taken its turn back to winter.

We called the snowplow guy and requested him to do the plowing before 4pm today so we could go to the temple tonight.  This snow storm caught everyone off-guard.  Weather.com said it was supposed to be sunny today.  Guess they got that one wrong.

My day has been spent copying files on my computer.  It’s one of those end-of-the-year things.  It’s always a good idea to backup your important computer files.  I don’t trust “cloud” services, so I copy to a USB drive and then store that USB drive in a different location.

At the temple we had a decent group of patrons.  In spite of the snow these faithful folks came to the temple.

I was sitting at the recommend desk when the parents of a young lady I met back in October came.  It was nice to meet them.  The world is small and even smaller when you consider the church.

That Time of the Year

That Time of the Year

It is that time of the year. What time, you ask?  Time to back things up.  Boring, yes.  Necessary, yes.  Worth it, yes.

I back my data up all of the time, but at the end of the year I compress/zip some files and back up those zip files.  I’ve been using zip for… hmmm… probably about 30 years.  That’s kind of scary when you think about it.

Just some trivia…

In the 1980s I ran a BBS (bulletin board system) in the San Francisco Bay Area called The Eagles Nest.  It started off with a tiny 5MB hard drive.  Well, it wasn’t tiny size wise, it was a full-height 5.25″ hard drive.  It later got updated to a 20MB hard drive.  Those were big times back then.

When I added and EGA card to the BBS server I created a COLOR login screen.  Yeah… all those little “@” symbols drawing a red-white-and-blue eagle on the screen.

I was still running it when we moved to a bigger house and I started writing for the newspaper.  As a result I met some good people.  Enrico Massagli, Bruce Dean, Jeff Jones and others.  It was an exciting time in the computer industry.

Elizabethe Speaks

Elizabethe Speaks

Elizabethe speaks at church today.  She got a call last night informing her one of the speakers got sick and asking her to speak.

She gave a good talk based on a General Priesthood Meeting talk about making good choices.  She did an excellent job.  It was a talk we all can use.  The other speaker was a new brother in the ward – Brother Wright.  His talk was along the same subject too.

After church it was nap time.  I threw some stuff in the crock pot for dinner – canned turkey (from a couple of years ago), some butternut squash, coconut milk and some seasonings for a turkey curry.

The sister missionaries came over for dinner and we had the curry along with some rice and spaghetti squash.  At a last minute, I whipped up some “egg nog” mousse for dessert.  All turned out quite tasty.

The one sister from Brazil is making great progress on learning English.  It will be fun to see her towards the end of her mission to hear how well she is speaking English.  A couple of years ago we had a sister from China who could hardly be understood when she first arrived.  By the time she left, she was speaking clearly and distinctly.  Missions do that.

Saturday Class

Saturday Class

This has become a tradition that I hold a Saturday class after Christmas for people who have new cameras.  Five people attended my little class today.  Teaching is something I can do from a chair, so it worked out well.    I call the class, “So You Got a New Camera for Christmas.  Now What?”  Visit http://www.palmyra-ny.com or http://www.dbwalton.com

If you have never taken a photography class, well, why wait?

I have been teaching photography for several years now.  I can explain the functions of your camera and when to use them.  Besides… it is fun.

I remember one of the first classes I took as an adult.  I was hoping it would allow me to use the college dark room.  Well, it didn’t, but I stuck with the class anyway.

It turned out to be quite fun.  It forced me out of my comfort-zone and had me taking pictures of things I would have never taken pictures of had I not taken the class.

After the class was over, I did not feel like waiting for dinner to be cooked so we used a gift card my daughter sent us.  We went to Chilli’s.  At first we were going to go to Olive Garden, but the wait was an hour.

Seriously?  Waiting an hour to eat a Olive Garden?  Not worth it in my opinion.

We drove down the road and as we passed various places, the closer to the mall, the more crowded the parking lot looked.  We got to Chilli’s and only had about a 10 minute wait.

Day After Christmas

Day After Christmas

It’s the Day After Christmas and I realize more than ever that people are so quick to equate love and happiness to things and gratification.  Yes, it is an exciting holiday, but have we already forgot?

One man said it right on his Facebook post.  He said, “You can’t have ‘He is risen’ without ‘A child is born.'”

While others are so very excited to share their windfall of gifts.  Pictures of children with toys.  Adults with their toys.  Yet others are more excited to share pictures of rich foods.  Everyone is excited about what they ‘got’ for Christmas.

One post was of a sign that read, “Until further notice, celebrate everything.”  It deserves a slight smile, but there are many things that are not worthy of celebration.  For a few months, many retailers are relieved they don’t have to worry about offending someone by saying, “Merry Christmas”, or offending others by saying, “Happy Holidays.”  Whatever the cause for celebration, I hope we haven’t already forgot.

While I lay waiting to go to sleep last night, I thought… when did the world change so drastically?

I know some argue it has been over time.  When I look at things today compared to the 1960s, the 1960s were a time of innocence compared to now.  Yet, last night I watched a TV show made in 1999 and it was so innocent compared to 2014.

What happened?

Right after 9/11/2001 there was a short period of time when it seemed much of the world was turning to God and prayer.  Then, almost over night, it seemed like that all stopped.  Much like how people quickly forget God after Christmas day, it seemed that a nation slipped in to darkness after a short period of gratitude and prayer that followed the tragedies of that day.

I think the only way peace can come back to the world can be compared with what happens at Christmas time.  For a short time, people think of Christ, they try to be nice to each other, and then the day after, it is back to old habits.  We always hear at Christmas time things like, “Try to make every day like Christmas day.”

I’m all for that.  Let’s try to make every day like Christmas Day.  No, I’m not talking about presents and commercialism, I’m taking about being kind and caring and remembering what is important.

Someone once said to make a marriage successful you need to put your spouse first.  I disagree, and I would go so far as to say, to make your marriage successful, to make your friendships successful, to make the world a better place, put God first.

Let’s roll back the clocks a few hours to a time in the last few days when you each of us thought about that special event over 2000 years ago when a small child was born.  His teachings changed the world.  His gift to mankind changed the world too.  Let’s try to remember all of the time, every day, throughout the entire year and years to come.

2014 Christmas

2014 Christmas

It is 2014 Christmas Day.  We started the day having breakfast with the sister missionaries, and then the full-time elders came over for breakfast.  After breakfast, we gave them stockings full of little goodies missionaries can appreciate.

I got a kick out of a couple of the missionaries who were excited to receive tooth brushes.  It brought back memories of being a missionary in Colorado.  For me, back then, it wasn’t a tooth brush but nail clippers.  Yes, I was excited to get some fingernail clippers.

After breakfast, we decided to binge-watch Roswell.  It was a series from 1999 that we never watched back then.  So, we watched episode after episode.

Oh, we did take a break and opened our presents.  Elizabethe gave me a $50 card for Harbor Freight Tools.  I already know what I plan to get.  She already got her present (the bed).  But, I also gave her a small rotary tool (like a Dremel Tool).  She was very excited.

I decided to stuff her stocking with a lot of chocolate hazelnut candies.  I found the Turkish store is a great place to get chocolate hazelnut stuff.  They have their own spread (like Nutella) which is very good, as well as all sorts of candy bars.  I think she’ll have enough to take her through the winter.

Christmas Eve 2014

Christmas Eve 2014

Who gets up at 7am on Christmas Eve 2014 so he can rush off to physical therapy?  I do; that’s who.

After 90 minutes of p/t Elizabethe and I headed to the Rochester New York Mission Office where we spent some time with 170 full-time missionaries.  These people, mostly in their early 20s, have left their homes for 18-24 months to spread the Gospel.  With the exception of family, I can’t think of a better bunch of people to visit on Christmas Eve.

From there Elizabethe wanted to make some stops at some stores… Michael’s, Wegman’s, Lowe’s… For the most part, I just stayed in the car.  Christmas Eve is not the day I want to be in a store.  In fact, I’d be more than happy if all businesses closed on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day so their employees could be home with their families.

I piddled around the rest of the day on my computer until I got bored, and then I crawled in to bed and read from Luke, Chapter 2, the story of the birth of Jesus Christ.

Elizabethe suggested we watch something uplifting after that, so we watched the First Presidency Christmas Devotional.  (We missed it when it was “live”, and so we pulled it up on YouTube and watched it.  It was very fitting for a Christmas Eve.)

209 Years Ago

209 Years Ago

Born 209 years ago was a man who changed history.  Joseph Smith, Jun., was born this day in Sharon, Vermont, in 1805.  Whether you like him or not, he changed the history of the world.

I was privileged to visit his birth place back in September.  A large granite obelisk commemorates the birthplace of the prophet.

copyright 2014 db walton
Joseph Smith’s Birthplace

How did he change the world?

I recommend you visit this web site dedicated to him.  (click here)  There you can read more than I can ever write about his life.

Privileged to live down the road from the homes his family lived in prior to their move to Ohio in the 1830s, Palmyra, New York, is where it all started.  It was while living here, early in the spring of 1820, that a young Joseph Smith sought answers to his prayers.

The event that changed so much was when Joseph Smith retired to a grove behind the family’s log home.  His purpose was to ask God which church to join.  What happened parallels the visions and revelations of biblical events.    Joseph, upon kneeling to pray had a heavenly manifestation unequal to anything since the first century.

Here’s a short video that summarizes things…

2014 Winter is Here

2014 Winter is Here

2014 Winter is here but you wouldn’t know it by the temperatures.  Yes, it is chilly outside, but warmer than normal.  The season has come, but it is warm and wet rather than cold and dry.

Elizabethe and I had to go to the post office and drop off a Christmas card.  While out, I suggested we see if the new Mennonite store was open in Marion.  As we drove down Main Street, Marion, we were begging to wonder if we were told correctly when suddenly, we FOUND IT.

It is Dutchland Foods at 3948 N Main St, Marion, NY.  If you like Sauder’s in Seneca Falls, you’ll like Dutchland Foods.  They are still new and building inventory and filling the store, but many of the things you find at Sauder’s you will find here too.

So, Palmyra folks, TELL YOUR FRIENDS.  We want to keep this store in the area and it will become a great asset to Wayne Count.

I wish we had more local stores.  The novelty of the big stores like Target, Walmart, K-Mart, etc., has worn off for me.  The unique variety and quality you find in small markets like this is what I like.  I hope Dutchland Foods is around to stay.